Big 12 fines, reprimands Texas Tech AD Hocutt

Field Level Media

October 16, 2019 at 5:43 pm.

The Big 12 didn’t take too kindly to Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt releasing a statement about an officiating error in the Red Raiders’ loss at Baylor on Saturday.

The conference issued a $25,000 fine and a public reprimand to Hocutt, who said in a statement that the Big 12 acknowledged an officiating error on an illegal snap ruling during the first overtime period.

The Big 12 said Hocutt violated league policy by speaking out publicly about officiating.

“The Big 12 Conference members have developed policies governing the officiating of our contests. It is vital that senior administration officials, especially the Directors of Athletics, adhere explicitly to these policies,” commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement.

“It is very difficult to balance support for an institution’s teams while fully complying with the imperative created by schools acting together to manage athletics competition. On this occasion, the required discipline was not exercised. Kirby Hocutt is one of the very best athletics administrators in the nation, and I am grateful for his assistance and support in resolving this matter.”

On the second play of overtime, a shotgun snap from Baylor center Jake Fruhmorgen went off his rear end and fell to the turf, quickly recovered by Texas Tech defensive tackle Jaylon Hutchings. Instead of ruling a recovered fumble, however, officials threw a flag and penalized Fruhmorgen for an illegal snap.

The Bears kept possession and scored a touchdown on the possession.

Texas Tech (3-3, 1-2) tied the game with a TD but fell 33-30 after the second OT.

“It has been confirmed that the ruling on the field of an illegal snap was incorrect,” Hocutt said in his statement. “The play is not reviewable by rule because it is a dead ball judgment call by the official. I am confident that the Big 12 Conference will deal with the matter internally as they complete the review of the game in its entirety.”

Hocutt has served as Texas Tech’s athletic director since 2011 and chaired the College Football Playoff selection committee in 2016 and 2017.